|It's okay to be a |
little sad, Oliver
We will not be doing Bike Philly this year.
It is a decision we have made after much deliberation, difficulty, and early-onset nostalgia (is there a topical cream for that?). There really is no Philly experience quite like biking through a car-free Center City with thousands of other bicyclists. It is one of our favorite days of the year.
Unfortunately, Bike Philly has not grown in the way we needed in order to offset its rising costs. Bike Philly took everyone and everything we had to put on every year, and we loved doing it. But as an event it has grown harder, not easier, to pull off. After intense deliberation, we have determined that we cannot sustain the event.
But take heart! This is not the end of family-friendly bicycling events in Philadelphia. Every major American city has a ciclovia (aka Summer Streets) event except us. More festival than ride, a ciclovia is a block party in motion, stretching over several miles. So we are redirecting the work we put into Bike Philly to bring a ciclovia to Philadelphia in 2013.
Why a ciclovia instead of Bike Philly? Closing the street is less disruptive because cross streets still work with participants following the lights at intersections. By making it free -- and not a fundraiser -- we build more civic support and the opportunity to find municipal, civic, and corporate partners who will take on more of the effort of putting on such a big event.
Thank you to the thousands and thousands of bicyclists who rode in Bike Philly over the past five years, and all those people who took the time to tell us how much they loved the event. We look forward to seeing you on a car-free street as part of a ciclovia in 2013.